RicelandMeadows


On The Edge Of Summer

prayingmantis

August 31, 2019

Today is the last day of August. Summer is coming to a close. It feels like summer just started, but alas, she’s gone. The praying mantis in the photo, was sitting on the roof of the meat chicken’s pen. This healthy, beneficial insect and good neighbor, was looking for a meal. I think in preparation for the coming fall and winter days.

morningewes

Our ewe flock grazing in the sunrise. They were recently separated from their lambs. Weaning time is a bit stressful for all involved. We wean in a way where moms and babies can see each other and often even rub noses. The lambs just can’t nurse. Once they realize they don’t need milk anymore, things start to quiet down. Mom’s udder shrinks and dries up too. She can rest up and fatten up some before the upcoming breeding season.

lambcrop2019

The lambs also graze on the lush morning pasture. They are very content now. In a couple weeks, the two groups will be put back together. The weather lambs will be separated from the ewes. The weathers will be fattened for freezer camp. The ewes will all be put together and put on our best fall pastures. They will enjoy full bellies and comfort. The ram will come to visit in early December, starting the whole cycle over again.

The days grow shorter. I am trying to cram a few extra jobs into my schedule, for I know soon we will be wrapping things up for winter, But I will cling to these days on the edge of summer. I will enjoy a few cool mornings and sit on the patio after chores in the evening, as autumn closes in, enjoying the cycle of life on the farm.



In Like a Lamb
March 5, 2017, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

lamb2017

March 5, 2017

Yesterday, the first lamb of 2017 arrived. He is a cute little fellow, born to a first time mom. I am fine with my first timers having a single lamb. They learn to be good mommas and only have one youngster to keep under watch. Some are just natural born mothers and can handle twins or triplets without any problem. Others are rather self centered ladies who can’t understand why the little creatures keep hanging on to her…the latter type get “invited to dinner”, if you know what I mean.

I don’t usually lamb at this time of year. I choose early May instead. This year, however, I have some vacation time to use, so it seemed like a good time for lambing. I like to keep an eye on the flock to make sure all is well. The ability to be close by, pleases me very much.

Our month of March came in like a lion this year. The wind blew and storms rattled the area. Now, some cool but nice days are at hand. The lambs are born with nice warm wool coats. They enjoy the weather. Moms are eating on a big new hay field. They only eat hay on the deepest snow days. They have their choice and they prefer the dormant grasses in the field.

My flock has access to a nice three sided pasture building. They use it on rainy days, but mostly choose to be outside. Last night the temperature dipped to 12 F. The sheep were laying in the grass fast asleep, far from the building. I am sure they know what they are doing. I am glad to offer them a choice. They repay be by keeping  the fence rows clipped, the sugarhouse paddock mowed and my freezer stocked with tender young lamb. It is a very fair deal.



Signs of Spring
April 11, 2015, 8:43 pm
Filed under: April 2015 | Tags: , , ,
Wild Onions

Wild Onions

April 11, 2015

My sheep were sold last summer, so my fields are void of baby lambs this spring. I do miss the soft bleats on the wind. I am sure to miss the bouncy babies playing in the pastures. The mothers calling their offspring is also only heard in my memory. It rings bittersweet in my head. I will indeed miss the youngsters, but not lambing time right on the heels of maple syrup season.

I look for other signs of spring. Wild onions growing in the leaf litter of the woods, daffodils blooming in the sun and buds on the trees. The grass is starting to green up. The cattle snip green shots of the new grass. The eat it anywhere they find it. Their manure shows that they found plenty of it 😮

Spring has sprung. The peepers are singing much of the night. The spelt is bright green and growing in the fields. The compost pile steams steadily as the red wing black birds fly about. Garden seeds wait to be planted and the strawberry beds start to wake up. Soon the hot summer sun will bake us in our skin, but for now it kisses the grass like a mother ewe nurturing her baby lambs.